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with a little help (from my friends)

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If Morgan had been sitting on a chair, she would have toppled off it in total shock.

The sass! The unmitigated chutzpah in that pithy little comeback! What a stunning recovery! She nearly cheered out loud: 'Go, Shaun!'

What Morgan wouldn’t have given for a box of popcorn, watching all this unfold. She was almost tempted to film it.

She was starting to understand why people found Shaun attractive, and charmingly, innocently, adorably clueless. It all held a certain appeal, particularly when it was contained inside the same person.

If she was being honest, she was sort of on the way there, herself.

But equally apparent to her was that Shaun wanted Lea, and it was a deep, aching, visceral kind of want. He had blinkers, tunnel-vision, laser-focus. Call it what you want. The man had a goal.

Morgan hoped someone would look at her like that someday, like she’d hung the Goddamned moon.

You really don’t know what you have here for the taking, do you, Lea? In some ways, you’re just as – maybe even more – clueless than Shaun. Morgan wanted to take Lea by the shoulders, and shake her into sense.

But Shaun just looked at Lea, wilting there in the doorway.

Even though Lea was – theoretically – taller than Shaun and Morgan right now, Morgan suddenly saw her shrink, just about to nothing.

She couldn’t have scripted this turn of events any better if she’d written it herself. There was no longer a pressing need to watch Stranger Things.

Stranger things were already happening, right here in Shaun’s bedroom.


However, this lighthearted rebuke did not elicit laughter from Lea. Not even a smile.

Shaun was very confused now. He had meant the remark to be funny, but apparently Lea didn’t appreciate his sense of humour.

Or, at least, this sense of humour.

‘Who the hell are you?’ her gaze seemed to ask him. Then it flickered accusingly over to Morgan, adding, ‘And what have you done with Shaun?’

Lea also really didn’t appreciate it when Shaun’s phone rang, interrupting... whatever the hell this was.

Shaun looked down at the display, somewhat thankful for the distraction. Why was Claire — ?

He debated whether or not to answer.

But it might be important, he rationalised. I might have to go back into work. With Morgan.

Oh, that’d certainly make Lea’s night.

Shaun made the choice to pick up. “Hello, Claire.”

‘What the actual fuck?!’ Lea wanted to scream at him. ‘Do you have a whole damn harem?!’

And the triangle becomes a square, Morgan texted Claire, subtly. She’d heard the line in some teen show years ago, and it was totally appropriate for the situation at hand.

Especially if Morgan was correct in her observations of how Claire glowed a little brighter when she was around Shaun, too. What was it about him?

The reply came back almost immediately: Well put. 

She needn’t have bothered trying to be discreet, really, as Lea was otherwise occupied with boring holes directly into Shaun, using only the firepower of her narrowed eyes.

Shaun was listening raptly to whatever Claire was telling him, heedless of Lea’s increasingly enraged facial expressions.

Or... studiously ignoring them.

I’ve quite possibly created a monster here, Morgan considered, idly.